Artisans gather wares at annual bazaar 

Friday and Saturday, Telus Conference Centre

What: Bizarre Bazaar

When: Friday, Dec. 1 & Saturday, Dec. 2

Where: Telus Whistler Conference Centre

In Dehli, India you can the visit the Palika Bazaar. In Peshawar, Pakistan, there is Qissa Khawani Bazaar (the market of story tellers). And in Iran you can find the largest of them all — Tehran’s Grand Bazaar.

In Whistler there’s Bizarre Bazaar. Unlike its famous counterparts, Bizarre Bazaar, with its wide variety of wares to tempt any shopper, comes just once every year. It’s here this weekend.

If you need a one-stop shop for all your holiday gifts, look no further than the Telus Conference Centre on Friday and Saturday.

From hand-made jewelry and candles to one-of-a-kind fine art, this is the place to find something for everyone. It is the annual event in Whistler to kick off holiday shopping.

More than 100 artists from the Sea to Sky corridor, the Lower Mainland and beyond will display their wares at Whistler’s original artisan market.

A testament to the popularity of this annual event, which is in its 18 th year, is that 5,000 people wandered through the doors in 2005.

New this year is artist Mark Richards, who combines elements of photography and painting in his unique artistic medium.

Richards, who grew up in Nova Scotia, creates some pieces on canvas, while others are on traditional photographic material.

“I’m still struggling to find a name,” said Richards. See for yourself what this artist can create.

Sharon Cipp, the official medicine woman of the D’Arcy N’quat’qua and the Lil’Wat Nation, is returning to Bizarre Bazaar. Cipp is a fourth generation eco-herbalist who practices the medicinal ways of the Interior Salish people.

She sells herbal products, which come from her five-acre homestead in Birken.

“It is more than just a craft, it’s education and health,” she said. “If you have a skin problem, we look at what you eat, your activity and then I say ‘This is what you use’.”

Another unique attraction is the work of local glassblower Duane Perrett, who has been honing his craft for 25 years.

“I have explored many paths in life and in business, all of which have led and contributed to this exciting, inspiring time in my life,” he said. “Ironically it was my pastime of sandblasting wood and stone that led me to the form of glass art.”

Whether it’s glass, art, wood, metal, clothing, food, pottery, jewelry, aromatherapy products, Christmas treats and more, it’s hard to leave the bazaar empty-handed.

And while it’s true people flock to Bizarre Bazaar to shop, this is also the place where you can find some free entertainment — Rob Funk, the Whistler Singers, Solterre’s Songs of Solstice and Susan Holden are all playing this year. And the Whistler Waldorf Alta Lake School is hosting a cozy café, complete with fresh food and hot and cold drinks.

Bizarre Bazaar takes place Friday, Dec. 1, from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance is by donation with proceeds funding the Children’s Art Festival and other annual Whistler Arts Council events.

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